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2020 Ford Explorer ST, Hybrid Revealed

2020 Ford Explorer ST, Hybrid Revealed

This morning Ford has completed the lineup of the all-new 2020 Explorer by revealing a hybrid and performance ST variants. The two polar opposite Explorers serve to bookend the spectrum between frugal and excessive.

Let’s start with the Explorer ST. Engineered by Ford Performance, the Explorer ST is pulling in many of its design cues from the smaller Edge ST, meaning there’s a black mesh grille up front, body colored accents and unique wheel options. The aggressive appearance isn’t just for looks, because the Explorer ST is powered by an EcoBoost 3.0-liter V-6 that generates an estimated 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. This power will flow through a 10-speed automatic transmission.

“We designed it to be an ST from the beginning,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief functional engineer. “There’s no mistaking its ST DNA. It has a performance feel with sustained performance capability and wears an unmistakably ST appearance. More than anything, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun to drive.”

All ST models features various drive modes to alter the vehicle’s performance and handling characteristics. Available upgrades include an ST Street Pack and an ST Track Pack. Both have 21-inch aluminum wheels with differing levels of performance brakes and feature larger vented rotors, red-painted brake calipers with stainless steel pistons, and larger brake pads for even better stopping power.

For Explorer buyers who aspire to save fuel instead of burn more, Ford is launching the Explorer Limited Hybrid. Ford says the long-anticipated electrified Explorer will be powered by the company’s 3.3-liter V-6 with an estimated 318 horsepower.

Ford isn’t saying yet what to expect in terms of fuel economy ratings on the Explorer Hybrid, but they are saying to expect up to 500 miles of range per tank of fuel. Without additional specifics it’s difficult to triangulate fuel economy ratings.

Explorer Hybrid utilizes a new liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack that is integrated into the vehicle’s chassis under the second row seats. This construction maintains cargo space to status quo levels to the normal gas model.

The Explorer Hybrid will be offered only in Limited trim level, which will feature Active Noise Cancellation, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist driver-assist technologies, leather seats with micro-perforation and accent stitching, second-row heated seats, a 14-speaker B&O premium sound system, wireless phone charging pad and 10-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats.

Both Explorer ST and Limited Hybrid complete the full range of the 2020 Ford Explorer. All variants will go on sale later this year.


About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. Tone
    It'll be interesting to see how the ST does. It bascially occupies a similar space in the market as the Taurus SHO did in the 1980s - offering a lot of the performance of a more expensive European sports/family hauler for less money. Not quite a competitor for the 500 hp Stelvio, but it also carries and tows a lot more.
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